Minn. trade group: Electronic pull tab gambling machines many months away

Although electronic pull tab gambling and electronically linked bingo will provide the state with the funds to pay its $350 million share of the new Vikings stadium, the trade group that represents more than 1,200 licensed gambling operators tells MPR that it will likely be many months before any machines are available.
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Although electronic pull tab gambling and electronically linked bingo will provide the state with the funds to pay its $350 million share of the new Vikings stadium, the trade group that represents more than 1,200 licensed gambling operators tells MPR that it will likely be many months before any machines are available.

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The state's gaming control board on Tuesday said bar and restaurant patrons can begin playing new electronic pull-tab gambling games. At least two places in St. Paul, Mancini's restaurant and O'Gara's bar, planned to begin offering them immediately. State officials hope the devices – iPads loaded with gambling software – will bring in as much as $72 million to help pay the state's $350 million share of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

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The Gambling Control Board has unanimously approved guidelines for new hand-held gambling devices in Minnesota bars and restaurants. Electronic pull-tabs and bingo games are being introduced to help fund the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The board also approved a Las Vegas-based gambling equipment vendor to make the electronic devices.

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A plan to install electronic bingo and pull-tab machines in bars and restaurants is a popular suggestion when it comes to how the state could raise the money for a new Vikings stadium. But at least one expert says it would be a big gamble. The only revenue estimates we have are based on current sales, and no one can guess how customers will react to the new games.

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